Politics, Moderate



Let the Currency Be

CHICAGO -- We should have left the historical figures on our money alone. Let Alexander Hamilton and the other Founding Fathers on our currency rest in peace.

One need not be pro-man or anti-woman to believe that diminishing the men on our paper bills in order to elevate a female, by 2020, as recently decreed by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, is ...Read more

Where Diversity Comes Naturally

EL PASO, Texas -- I recently spent four days in "Latino-landia."


I've visited heavily Hispanic communities in Florida, California and Arizona, but nothing like what I experienced on a reporting trip arranged by the Aspen Institute's Latinos and Society Program.

In El Paso, Texas, and southern New Mexico, which along with Ciudad ...Read more

The Thriving Texas-New Mexico 'Borderplex'

MESILLA, New Mexico -- You're forgiven if you've never heard the term "North American Borderplex." It's a relatively new thing.

Borderplex is the term that civic, business and social leaders, who in 2013 organized themselves under an organization called The Borderplex Alliance, call the region that covers Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, El Paso and ...Read more

A Case Debunked, But Truth is Elusive

CHICAGO -- In mid-April, I wrote about official allegations that American soldiers and contractors based in Colombia had sexually assaulted dozens of young girls between 2003 and 2007, with some of the attacks being taped and sold as pornography.

Those allegations have been debunked.

The shocking charges had been included in an 800-page report...Read more

Why There Are So Few Minority Teachers

CHICAGO -- There is a constant rallying cry in education circles: Why don't we have more teachers of color?

The answer is simple -- it's not a degree likely to pay off, assuming the student can even make it to graduation.

A recent report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce detailed lifetime earnings for 137 ...Read more

Asian-Americans On The Rise

CHICAGO -- Here's a historic shift you probably haven't heard about: For the first time in decades, Mexico is no longer the top source of recent immigrants to the United States. Now, China and India lead the way, according to a new report from the Migration Policy Institute.

This surprising turn has barely made headlines. Scattered news reports...Read more

On Immigration, a Fight Over Staying Power

CHICAGO -- President Obama's expansion of executive action for illegal immigrants was kept on hold last week when the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the government's request to allow the deferral initiatives to take effect. The debate surrounding the case has been cast as a clash between a president's will and his administration's ...Read more

How Sincere is Clinton's Latino Outreach?

CHICAGO -- When Hillary Clinton announced Lorella Praeli as her campaign's head of Latino outreach, the announcement yielded a mixed bag of coverage -- "Hillary Clinton Taps Dreamer," "Clinton campaign hires former Dreamer" and "Hillary Hires Ex-Illegal as Latino Outreach Director."

It's impossible to know the message Clinton was trying to send...Read more

Exotic Parrots Are Not Pets

CHICAGO -- "The heartbreaking world of captive exotic birds" is a photo essay that was recently published on the website of the Mother Nature Network. It aims to "make you think twice before bringing home a cockatoo or macaw."

The images of majestic birds who have plucked and mutilated themselves raw and bald from the stress of their life in ...Read more

Modern Times Through the Eyes of a Monster

CHICAGO -- On a quiet Sunday morning recently, my family and I sat having breakfast when one of my sons asked whether their dad and I had been having an argument the night before.

I chuckled and reassured them that they had heard raucous laughter.

"What was that funny?" my son asked.

I explained that I had asked my husband, lying ...Read more

The Power of Being Multilingual

CHICAGO -- English fluency continues to spiral upward among Latinos, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis, with a record 33.2 million Hispanics in the U.S. now speaking English proficiently.

That paragraph does not adequately convey my zeal and delight over an official, nonpartisan organization validating what I've been saying for ...Read more

Bravo to a Masterful Film on Ballet

CHICAGO -- There must be a hundred documentaries about ballet and I've just about seen them all.

I can tell you unequivocally that among any number of behind-the-scenes films about prima ballerinas, their Adonis-like partners and the gorgeous costumes, "American Ballet Theatre: A History" stands apart.

Premiering nationwide on Friday on PBS as...Read more

Teaching the Poor to Tell Their Story

CHICAGO -- When journalists get the opportunity to share and collaborate with those they report on -- to give something back rather than simply taking their photos or their statements -- it can be life-changing.

On May 2-3, an inaugural regional conference focused on poverty gathered a group of journalists to train residents of South Dakota...Read more

Giving an Exotic Bird a Safe Home

CHICAGO -- My family has been discussing how long my sons and I can expect to live. I have to plan for another 50 years but realistically, I'm probably only good for about 40 more.

Here's why: If our family of four (plus our dog, who has to pass muster) can successfully pass the extremely rigorous screening, application and training process to ...Read more

Disappointment in the Latest Nation's Report Card

CHICAGO -- As I approached the results of the latest Nation's Report Card on social studies education, I prepared myself for an inevitable drop in scores.

To my surprise, though many "old school" history teachers have lately chosen retirement over delivering the watered down, devoid-of-hard-facts, PowerPoint-driven lectures that are the ...Read more

A Turning Point for Native Americans in Tinseltown?

CHICAGO -- It's hard to get upset at Adam Sandler for inanity, recklessness or disrespect. He's never promised America anything more than to be a jester for our amusement, a few hours at a time.

This is why it's almost beside the point to even mention Sandler in a discussion about whether his upcoming Netflix film "The Ridiculous Six" stands as...Read more

Adios to a Vulgar TV Show

CHICAGO -- "Sabado Gigante," a Spanish-language variety show on Univision, will end this September after an astounding 53 years on the air.

It has been the biggest TV phenomenon most non-Spanish speakers have never heard of, and it has been a fixture in Hispanic households since the show -- the title means "Giant Saturday" -- started airing in ...Read more

The dubbers of 'Desperate Housewives'

CHICAGO -- The highest compliment I can pay "Now En Espanol," a new documentary about the actresses who dubbed "Desperate Housewives" into Spanish, is that you don't have to even like the Wisteria Lane melodrama to be fascinated by the women who brought the characters to life for Spanish speakers.

Premiering April 24 on "VOCES," Latino Public ...Read more

What Happens in Latin America Should Be Reported

CHICAGO -- Here's a shocking news story you probably haven't heard about: American soldiers and contractors based in Colombia are alleged to have sexually assaulted dozens of young girls between 2003 and 2007, with some of the attacks being taped and sold as pornography.

These accusations were included in an 800-page report released in February...Read more

A Shock Talk on Kids and Alcohol

CHICAGO -- An altercation was rising in the living room where my two teen sons were getting on each other's nerves near the end of a weekend of marathon TV-watching.

I was summoned by my older son, who needed the voice of reason to prevail in an argument he was having with his kid brother:

"Mom," he whined, "Come in here and tell him that ...Read more

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Signe Wilkinson Steve Benson Steve Breen Clay Bennett Mike Lester Michael Ramirez